As pleasant a sunny disposition you’ll find out of me, summertime weariness replenished by fall semester’s flood tide of new freedoms and so it was that I released the shutter for back-to-school pictures on the front steps, this morning’s portraits bathed emerald green, giddy Oliver Fern framed in the gracefully arching myrtle and Boston ivy, the vining latter of which seems far more at home scaling the regal sandstone of those neo-gothic buildings a mile or two down the hill at the university versus the tacky, shabby asbestos-filled shingle of our house. The boys love school (though one of them has graduated to the minefield of unique cruelties and confusing locker combinations that can be junior high) but still I did my best to exercise a certain degree of Monday-morning empathy so as not to seem overly obvious. My cheeriness was temporarily tempered by the mountainously uphill climb (everyone click their carabiners three times!) several blocks to big brother’s new bus stop with the older kids. We’ll miss those pleasant strolls downvalley to the old waiting place, not to mention the centrifugal force (lopsided backpacks) of gravity those mornings we took too long, racing for the yellow limo like lame racehorses. On the bright side, by the time I’m back down to the house my metabolism’s gonna be that optimal simmer, perfect for journaling once or twice a week over a cup of coffee before smartly tackling the morning shift. Ding!